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The economics of early childhood investments

This report describes the economic returns to investments in childhood development and early education. Reviewing recent research, it is clear that early education programs in general are good investments. In the short-run, programs have been shown to increase earnings and employment for parents. In the long-run, the programs can benefit participants and society by increasing the earnings and employment of participants, improving health, reducing anti-poverty spending, and reducing crime. Research shows that past early learning initiatives have provided total benefits to society, including reduced crime, lower anti-poverty transfers, and educational savings, of up to $8.60 over a child's lifetime for every $1 spent, and current programs will likely yield similar benefits. (author abstract)
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